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Service of Process

Service is “the formal delivery of a writ, summons, or other legal process or notice” according to Black’s Law Dictionary. A number of Texas statutes designate the Secretary of State as a process agent, authorizing the Secretary of State to accept service on behalf of another person. Statutes Designating Secretary of State as Process Agent.

In addition to the statutes designating the Secretary of State as process agent, the procedures for serving a person through the Secretary of State are governed by Rule 71.21 of the Secretary of State’s administrative rules, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the local court rules, and any other applicable law.

Generally, service on the Secretary of State may be made by:

See Tex. R. Civ. Proc. Rule 103; Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 17.026.

Addresses for Service on the Secretary of State

The law generally requires service by hand delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested. See Tex. R. Civ. Proc. Rule 106; Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 17.026. The Secretary of State also accepts service by regular mail and facsimile. You should review the applicable laws to ensure your chosen delivery method accomplishes proper service.

Certified or Regular Mail:
Service of Process
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 12079
Austin, Texas 78711-2079
Delivery or Overnight Mail:
Service of Process
Secretary of State
James E. Rudder Building
1019 Brazos, Room 105
Austin, Texas 78701

What to Submit to the Secretary of State

Maintenance of a record of the service of process, notice or demand and for forwarding the process, notice, or demand $40 per person or party served
Certificate of service $15
Total (payable to Secretary of State) $55

Certificates of Service

Upon request and payment of the $15 certificate fee, the Secretary of State will issue a certificate showing:

  1. that service was accomplished;
  2. that a copy of the process was forwarded to the named person at the specified address; and
  3. the disposition of the mailing shown on the postal return receipt.

Questions?

If you need help determining what method of service is proper, the address to which the Secretary of State should deliver the documents being served, or answers to other legal questions, you should contact a private attorney.

Questions of the Secretary of State may be directed to the Service of Process team by calling (512) 463-5560 or by email.